New approaches to political organising are needed to move our society and nation forward. It just has to go beyond the simple issue of producing candidates for election. We need a strategy that can mobilise our people to be innovative and in the process produce new political actors and hopefully new leaders. More importantly, the new approach should be founded on a conscious effort to unite our people and therefore halt the dominant culture of divisive politics, which has only produce violence and ethnic and religious hatred. This concern has led a group of politicians in Kaduna State to initiative some activities covering all the state. These are mainly politicians from the opposition parties - ACN, ANPP, CPC and others. The activities in the Southern parts of the country are being implemented under the Democratic Emancipation Movement (DEM) and in the Northern parts under the Movement for a Better Future (MFBF). The two Movements are working together. On June 1, 2013, DEM organised a Summit in Kagoro. It was well reported in the media. MFBF is now organising a Conference on July 6, 2013 in Zaria with the theme Uniting our People for Change. Uniting our People for Change is more than a conference. It is about re-inventing our Kaduna State. Below is the highlights of what it is. We shall give more details as we progress and welcome suggestions and recommendations.
Uniting Our People For Change: What you should know!:
For years now, perhaps since 1987, governance and leadership in our Kaduna State has been equated with ethnic and religious hatred. Functionaries of government have not only emerged through clear and acknowledged celebration of ethnic and religious differences but have produced consequential disasters resulting in near genocidal loss of lives and unprecedented destruction of property.
On account of this, today, Kaduna State ranked among the high volatile states in the country. Almost, all ethnic and religious crises in the country find expression in our state. Our politicians, consciously or unconsciously, appear to indulge in acts that promote religious and ethnic hatred in the state in the name of canvassing for political positions at all levels. The result is clear – Kaduna State is more or less a jungle. Nothing appears to be organised or orderly, citizens are simply on their own and everywhere, whether in the North, Central or South, is dirty and ugly!
This must change in order for peace to return to our state and our people resume their legitimate search for livelihood and glory. Uniting our People for Change is conceived to promote initiatives that would assist our people to overcome the antics of evil forces who would want to exploit our differences in order to access leadership positions in government and society. It is a partnership initiative of the Movement for a Better Future (MFBF) and Democratic Emancipation Movement (DEM). It is a partnership to mobilise all patriots and credible citizens, resident in the state, to join the crusade of uniting our people founded on love, social justice and the search for legitimate opportunity.
As Nigerians, residents in Kaduna State, irrespective of differences of ethnicity and religion, we all need to rise with one voice and say:
· No to opportunistic politics founded on ethnic and religious hatred;
· No politician or any person seeking for any office should do so based on ethnicity or religious identity, it must be based on qualification, competence, service to the people and integrity;
· Any political party promoting our ethnic and religious differences is only setting our society up for violence and mass killings of our people; and
· All our religious and traditional leaders must refrain from acts of provocation.
Meanwhile, MFBF and DEM are introducing two initiatives aimed at promoting the unity of our people through community services. These are:
1. Youth for Leadership Foundation
This is a state-wide youth competition promoting and showcasing the talent of our youths in areas of developing initiatives for community services covering all the 23 Local Governments. Two categories of prizes have been instituted – one for each senatorial zone and one for the state. Talent, skills, selflessness and capacity to mobilise people and resources is what will win the prize and NOT ethnic or religious identity.
The Youth for Leadership Board of Trustees made up of highly respected men and women has been constituted and would be inaugurated soon. The board will among other things give direction on growth and development of the youth foundation.
2. Medical Caravan
Based on the experiences of MFBF in 2008, both DEM and MFBF have finalised arrangements to resume community services of Medical Caravan. Details will be announced on July 6.
Finally, on July 6, Chief Audu Ogbeh OFR will stimulate public discussions on the critical task of uniting our people. The venue for the public discussion is Kongo Conference Hotel, Zaria, under the distinguished Chairmanship of Prof. Ango Abdullahi. Our leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari GCFR will be our Distinguished Guest of Honour. Governors of Zamfara and Osun, HE Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar and HE Rauf Aregbesola, together with HE Ibrahim Shekarau, former Governor of Kano State will be our Special Guests of Honour.
Political leaders from ACN, ANPP and CPC will deliver goodwill messages. It is all about re-inventing our society.
Be at Kongo Conference Hotel, Zaria exactly at 10 am on July 6, 2013.
MFBF And DEM